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tekering

tekering's BItComp entry #1 - Gnerl resin kit

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In the hopes that the "Built It Competition" hosted by @Return To Kit Form exceeds 20 entries ('cause I'm dead-set on getting a 1:72 Norbert Gerard Power Armour kit!), I've decided to devote all my resources to the task... meaning I'm gonna spend the next six months building all three of my Macross resin kits.  

The first is the largest and most expensive of them, Moscato Hobby's "Z Alien Interceptor," produced by the great folks at R2KF.  

136801094_interceptorparts.thumb.jpg.864e4fbdbaee90d303599ff132fcf0e3.jpg

Stay tuned!  ^_^

Edited by tekering

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Awesome! I haven’t seen one of these in 1:72. Looking forward to this!

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Same!  I have a gnerl coming in and would love to see how it's done!

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Rough-sketching Zentradi markings on the fuselage, to determine the correct size to print the custom logo I made...

100030807_roughmarkings.thumb.jpg.cfba91bde28dc303ea5d1d241a73288e.jpg

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Sweet! 

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On 5/1/2019 at 8:55 AM, tekering said:

In the hopes that the "Built It Competition" hosted by @Return To Kit Form exceeds 20 entries ('cause I'm dead-set on getting a 1:72 Norbert Gerard Power Armour kit!), I've decided to devote all my resources to the task... meaning I'm gonna spend the next six months building all three of my Macross resin kits.  

The first is the largest and most expensive of them, Moscato Hobby's "Z Alien Interceptor," produced by the great folks at R2KF.  

136801094_interceptorparts.thumb.jpg.864e4fbdbaee90d303599ff132fcf0e3.jpg

Stay tuned!  ^_^

Definitely wanting to see how it turns out. The racy Gnerl is my fave Macross fighter. : )

meltran_gnerl_ace_by_leelf.jpg

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Looking forward to this as well.  I have one ordered but no clue how I will tackle the markings.

I'm loving those racy colors!  Especially with Milia :wub:

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2 hours ago, sumyumgoy said:

Looking forward to this as well.  I have one ordered but no clue how I will tackle the markings.

I'm loving those racy colors!  Especially with Milia :wub:

This is a re-coloured fan edit.

The original version by Lee-Elf  is on deviantart of course. 

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2 hours ago, sumyumgoy said:

I have one ordered but no clue how I will tackle the markings.

That's the exciting thing with the Gnerl -- beyond the iconic Zentradi symbol mid-fuselage, there's no established precedent to work from.  Keep it clean and simple like the anime does, hyper-detail it like old Imai packaging artwork does, or anything in between.  ^_^

12 hours ago, Return To Kit Form said:

Have you thought about doing that as a mask rather than printing a decal? 

Of course, but I'll probably need decals for some of the smaller markings anyway (not to mention all the custom decals I'm using for the Thunderbolt), and it's a more efficient solution than a complicated masking job...  

Without knowing how long this is all gonna take, I can't afford to be wasting time!

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True. But if you have the file as a vector I can run it off on the plotter = no complicated masking!

Speakimg of blank canvasses here is my Vanquish Racing Gnerl from a few years ago:

20170407_231557-3.thumb.jpg.13904fd3e0525c861df66b374d5186f5.jpg

Cheers,

Brett

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I've been admiring that "Wheeljack" Gnerl for years, Brett.  I had no idea it was yours!  :hi:

Here's a good opportunity to illustrate a common issue with larger resin kits, which is warped parts:

warped.thumb.jpg.7039b4d8816c3831f0b1814b1dea166e.jpg

The bigger the parts, the more trouble you'll have fitting them together.  It's a natural part of the process, owing to the nature of silicon molds; silicon is great for capturing and reproducing fine detail (as you can see above), but its lack of rigidity makes it difficult for larger parts to maintain a consistent shape.  Thankfully, there's a simple solution.

Most resins become soft and pliable when heated, so all it takes is a couple of minutes with a hair dryer to make the pieces flexible enough to conform to the surfaces they're supposed to mate with.  

screwed.thumb.jpg.9705ab1c35cc401052bf400449ffa75d.jpg

You can use glue, screws, metal clamps, or even rubber bands to hold the pieces together long enough for the resin to cool and harden:

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If you allow the parts to cool off slowly, it actually strengthens the material itself (a process known as annealing).  The resin will maintain its intended shape, unless it's sufficiently re-heated.

To keep the upper fuselage flexible during this process, I hollowed out the nose cone:

hollowed-out.thumb.jpg.926b433230a57fdd40d4a690512fe65a.jpg

That helped the upper half of the fuselage conform to the lower half, eliminating most of the gaps between the parts.

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With the rough assembly completed, the full size of the model becomes apparent.  While the pilot figure could pass for Hi-Metal R scale, the fighter itself seems closer to 1:60th!  :o

Now I've got to determine the right colors to paint it, both the interior and exterior.  Only a few weeks left, and lots of surface prep. work still remains...  :unsure:

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This Gnerl kit is full of interior detailing -- the missile launch mechanism, cockpit flight controls, HUD monitor, and of course the pilot -- and the interior must be completed before the exterior can be done.  First order of business, therefore, is the pilot figure.

Mine, unfortunately, had a big gap missing from the right side of the torso armor:

42586399_trappedairpocket.thumb.jpg.33a0829797eca94e7a024b0051d36644.jpg

The smooth round interior cavity is indicative of a large pocket of air, that must've gotten trapped in the mold when the resin was poured.

I used a mix of Tamiya modeling putty and CA glue to fill the hole, then sanded it flush with the armor:

1949500868_puttyandsanding.thumb.jpg.4f260dc1f5d6c41ad147afbfc5fd9831.jpg

I then diluted the putty with lacquer paint thinner, and brushed on a couple thin coats to help blend the surfaces together.

1463860956_moreputtymoresanding.thumb.jpg.917bd1d4846a828555f39eb231e69132.jpg

After a few more stages of sanding and puttying, with successively thinner layers of putty and finer-grit sandpaper, the surface is finally smooth enough to spray a couple coats of primer.

725178962_readyforpaint.thumb.jpg.f3ea147c4e6793a092ada486ae76bb32.jpg

Without any specific reference as to what a Gnerl pilot's uniform looks like (much less what color it should be), Moscato's figure is sculpted to match the generic soldiers and guards seen in Zentradi hangar bays...

1653854126_soldierswithGnerl.thumb.jpg.4d6ece5f11d9ce968a95c490170c4058.jpg

...which seems to be an appropriate choice, since the Gnerls are treated as expendable cannon fodder.

Incidentally, this sequence is the only time Gnerl landing gear is visible in Macross.

1682763247_soldierswithBreetai.thumb.jpg.2513af958f91cffee3e3f7e13c9eccfa.jpg

When Zentradi soldiers have their helmet visors down, their faces appear green.  I painted my pilot figure to match.

378925578_frenemypilots.thumb.jpg.8cd30a643540d278e0390cd3c7f22509.jpg

Note the color gradation evident in the pink of the armor, achieved by airbrushing a darker color along the edges, and a lighter color in the center...

2011073121_fighterpilotscales.thumb.jpg.1d40bdcc526db7ee3eb7926a0da88125.jpg

The flight suit was dry brushed slate grey over a blue base, to suggest a more flexible surface texture than the armor.  

A black wash helps bring out the fabric underneath.

1838878160_ZInterceptorpilotbust-up.thumb.jpg.e9fb3d7efbf5d3f6c93bcccf2db786fa.jpg

The eyes and eyebrows were applied with a very fine-tipped marker.

I wanted to photograph the pilot figure properly so you could see the work that went into him (most of which won't be clearly visible once he's mounted in the cockpit).

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Looks great Ted! Apologies for the void on the torso - I am not sure how that got through QC :shok:

I agree with everything you mention WRT pilot colours and thanks for a heads up about that scene. I hadn't noticed that one before.

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

 

 

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Wow. The pilot looks amazing.

Have you considered chipping effects or wear on the armor parts and possibly scuffing on the arm pads and shoes. Being that pilots wedge themselves into their respective ships or Mecha I think it would add a touch of realism.

The pilot looks great, but too new at the same time.

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8 hours ago, nightmareB4macross said:

Have you considered chipping effects or wear on the armor parts and possibly scuffing on the arm pads and shoes. Being that pilots wedge themselves into their respective ships or Mecha I think it would add a touch of realism.

It certainly would, and I'm glad you bring up the subject.

It's a rather contentious issue among anime fans, toy collectors and modelers alike.  Do you want your characters and mecha look as realistic as possible?  Or do you strive for absolute anime-accuracy?  On the one extreme, colors, textures, and even proportions are altered to achieve a more real-world aesthetic:

1380317305_example-weathered.jpg.98dae5828fb64c24f5dacbc2c754d645.jpg

Arcadia's starting to lean heavily in this direction, particularly with their upcoming "Premium Finish" VF-0D.

1624165418_PFVF-0D.jpg.c90b5217e278f3f1ec1177e013321467.jpg

At the other extreme, solid colors and cel-shaded line work is used to achieve a flat, hand-drawn style:

411516281_example-cel-shaded.jpg.4b83b12ac47d7d7d8c71054b0f85c715.jpg

TakaraTomy is attempting something similar (after years of gravitating in this general direction).

845936961_cel-shadedPrime.jpg.92a840b10a789f4b37ebe826c8f510c1.jpg

Both approaches have their merits, and both have their detractors... and we all have personal preferences that lie somewhere between these two extremes.

With these Macross builds I'm attempting, there are two goals I wish to achieve:

   1. I intend to display the finished models among my varied collection of Macross toys, and I want the aesthetic to blend in with the dominant Bandai/Arcadia look.  That means colors and proportions that closely mimic the animation models, but with more surface detailing and nomenclature than is depicted onscreen.  Light weathering for a suggestion of heightened reality, light panel-lining to suggest the detail of the line-art, but nothing prominent enough to clash with my expensive toys.  ;)

  2. I intend to win this contest, by finishing all the kits I've committed to and demonstrating all the skills I have as I do it!  Knowing my work will be judged by those with greater experience than I have -- especially when it comes to resin kits -- I want to show how much effort I'm putting into this, and a clean, consistent finish takes a lot of work with garage kits.  Many modelers use "weathering" as a way of disguising their mistakes, and I don't want to give the impression that I'm cutting any corners.

However, I do want to suggest greater detail than could be depicted in the animation (and highlight the sculpting work modelers like John Moscato have put into these kits), and one way of doing that is with selective weathering.  Take the cockpit cover, for example:

1310479472_Gnerlcanopy.jpg.0cb032a05dc9c5a735e77722de257b75.jpg

What is depicted as a single unbroken piece in the animation is provided as a single unbroken piece in the "Z Alien Interceptor" kit, but with sculpted panel lines and rivets suggesting several smaller pieces combined.

By masking each section along the panel lines and painting them individually (adding slightly more shading in some areas, and slightly less in others), one piece now looks like several smaller, more detailed panels.  

canopy.jpg.98307ced8323e3aac54984197d47b967.jpg

It's more realistic than what appears in the show -- suggesting a more idealized depiction of the craft -- but the shape and color still matches what we see onscreen.  

That's the level of weathering I have in mind.

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It's about time I updated this thread, too...

328866026_roughsurface.thumb.jpg.20dae23cbb5ccda117984d92ae545659.jpg

As you can see, the surface has required a lot of cleanup work.

panel-by-panel.thumb.jpg.3871e3f24eb1c1bbf0f12c542348920a.jpg

After a lot of putty, sanding, and rescribing panel lines, I've been selectively masking off and painting the fuselage panel-by-panel, as I did the canopy cover...

1644750775_layeredunderside.thumb.jpg.2148958456ddb52d95fe7fa004bf37a2.jpg

...and the underside as well, following the inscribed panel lines.

seat.thumb.jpg.9b112fd5d306b7be63f8f1292cbffed2.jpg

Before final assembly, however, all the interior detailing has to be completed, including the pilot's seat...

241029743_unmannedcockpit.thumb.jpg.34889ef2a3f22ea193a455a66eccde90.jpg

...which, despite all the work I've put into mixing colors, masking, dry-brushed surface texturing, and panel-lining, will be totally concealed by the pilot figure anyway.  <_<

You, who are reading this thread, will be the only ones to really appreciate all this wasted effort.  :p

1929169117_emptyhousings.thumb.jpg.07065f16232b4bd1ea3ab13048327c1a.jpg

This missile housing will also be only partially visible once it's installed in the underside, so I've taken a very high-contrast approach to painting it.  With much of the black base coat still visible in the deep recesses, and very silvery-grey highlights drybrushed over the raised surfaces, the sculpted detail will stand out even in shadow.

1242577502_Gnerlmissiles.thumb.jpg.7fdcbce429114a14e88be0b79c2ee710.jpg

I've done my best to match the color of the missiles to the animation, even though they look considerably different...

1617032334_Gnerlanimatedmissiles.thumb.jpg.221b28af62824e2093ab4b522ee28696.jpg

...but that's because Moscato's sculpt was based more on the line art than the animation.

1164583450_Gnerlmissilesline-art.thumb.jpg.914dfb356ab92eeb72308cf6dda33fd5.jpg

Again, the details won't be particularly visible once they're mounted anyway.

604221444_missilesinhousing.thumb.jpg.0e5ad1defb17522e1fd20d874ab0b507.jpg

I've applied the same high-contrast look to the cockpit greeblies, drybrushing light colors over a black base to ensure maximum visibility.

1297317656_cockpitgreeblies.thumb.jpg.f0b5aabd15d46b0c526d19b55f2acca4.jpg

I imagine these Gnerls were treated much like kamikaze fighters, cheaply-manufactured and expendable, so I want it to have a somewhat dirty, poorly-maintained look...

After all, Zentradi mecha were designed for functionality, not comfort, and their culture was not known for high standards of maintenance.  ;)

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Absolutely love this. Amazing work!  One of my favorite and most wanted Macross mechs. 

Edited by derex3592

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Your work is incredible.

Amazing to see you working on so many builds concurrently.

Truly inspiring work!

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5 hours ago, tekering said:

I imagine these Gnerls were treated much like kamikaze fighters, cheaply-manufactured and expendable, so I want it to have a somewhat dirty, poorly-maintained look...

After all, Zentradi mecha were designed for functionality, not comfort, and their culture was not known for high standards of maintenance.  ;)

I've thought about this. What if maintenance wasn't done not only because they didn't know how to but also because it couldn't be done and wasn't needed.?We saw how reliable that Zentreadi weapon was in Frontier after centuries of floating around an ancient battlefield. 

What if the manufacturing techniques involved some sort of advanced methods where drive and power units are sealed and maintnenance free. Perhaps mecha were more likely  to be totally destroyed and replaced with stock from the automated factories than break down?

 

- Brett

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22 minutes ago, Return To Kit Form said:

I've thought about this. What if maintenance wasn't done not only because they didn't know how to but also because it couldn't be done and wasn't needed.?We saw how reliable that Zentreadi weapon was in Frontier after centuries of floating around an ancient battlefield. 

What if the manufacturing techniques involved some sort of advanced methods where drive and power units are sealed and maintnenance free. Perhaps mecha were more likely  to be totally destroyed and replaced with stock from the automated factories than break down?

 

- Brett

Well that makes sense to me anyway. I've long thought that the Zentraedi mecha should be rugged, standardised and modular to a certain extent e.g. If your Glaug's top cannon is smashed it pops out and you fetch a new one from stores.

 

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Seriously impressive work.

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Thanks for the encouragement, guys!  ^_^

1078022885_mountedforgood.thumb.jpg.336068faa58ec56b2ce3aa6b94d7542c.jpg

The pilot's mounted in the cockpit, now and forever.  Note his right hand over the throttle...

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...while his left hand grips the control stick, thumb resting just under the trigger.

422101870_Gnerlguns.thumb.jpg.ea7098a7329e555c644f89b0fd710b22.jpg

The trigger activates the triple-barreled nose gun, mounted just under the camera eye on the front of the craft; since the cockpit canopy is heavily-armored and completely opaque, this is the only source of vision for the pilot inside.

Having simply matched the flat blue color of the lens as depicted in the animation, I'm now wondering if I should find an actual camera lens to mount in there instead...

Wouldn't that look cool?  8)

On 10/21/2019 at 5:46 PM, Return To Kit Form said:

Smooth work Ted!

My top coat does most of the work.  ;)

smooth.thumb.jpg.eadf1eda833aae8164e125bbf98165d3.jpg

I love that commercial!  :lol:

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Looking amazing!

I would absolutely go for something like a lens over the blue camera sensor.  Looks about the right size for something like a large-scale landing light, or possibly a headlight lens.

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